D&D 5E What do you need for Dark Sun that is already out there?


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gorice

Hero
I might be alone in this, but I feel like the wizard should be the only full caster in a DS game. Fictionally, sorcerers (wizards) are rare and powerful, and being one means inviting a lot of danger. Thematically, true magic should have a terrible price; if being a Psion is as good as being a wizard, why would anyone study magic? And mechanically, my hazy recollection of 2e is that Psions were more like thieves in health/armour/attack, while old-school clerics had a slower spell progression than in 5e (and were only included in DS because the game needed healers; I'd be inclined to remove them altogether).

Because of this, I think monk or warlock (or the old playtest sorcerer!) is a better chassis for disciple of the Way than a sorcerer. Monks probably work fine as is; warlocks could be given a few tweaks, like replacing blasty cantrips with something more thematic.
 

Stormonu

Legend
You may need defiling rules.

My quick-and-dirty defiling rules:
  1. By default, an arcane caster is a preserver, just like every 2E preserver used the core AD&D wizard rules.
  2. A preserver can choose to defile when casting an upcastable spell. When one does so, plants die in a 10 foot * spell level of slot used radius of the caster, and the spell's power is increased as if the caster used a one-level-higher slot.
  3. An arcane caster can choose to be a "true" defiler. A true defiler always kills plants, even when using spells that can't be upcast. In addition to the extra power when using upcastable spells, a true defiler gets a bonus daily* spell slot of highest castable level or 5th level, whichever is lower.
*Yeah, I'm not sure what to do with defiler warlocks here.

Defilers are of course hated and feared for the destruction they wreak. Since preservers can choose to defile to upcast and may well do so when they consider it an "emergency", even inhabitants of Athas who know and care about the difference between preservers and defilers may be wary of preservers.

(These rules were inspired by A. the fact that the mechanical advantage of being a defiler in 2e was faster class progression, which for a wizard mostly translated into more powerful spellcasting, and B. the 4e Arcane Defiling power. They also have some resemblance to the system in the article "The Preserver's Choice" in Dragon #202, which was not a conscious influence, but which I probably read when it first came out in 1994.)
Personally, I'd make Defiling the default and Preserving would require more care and deliberate action. I would probably have that defilers don't need material components (they use life force instead), and preservers MUST use material components as at least one difference. Any spell that doesn't normally have components is automatically a base Defiling spell, and any metamagic that removes component requirements MUST use Defiling. I would probably also make it that "preserved" spells cannot be upcast - at least, not without greater component requirements.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Personally, I'd make Defiling the default and Preserving would require more care and deliberate action. I would probably have that defilers don't need material components (they use life force instead), and preservers MUST use material components as at least one difference. Any spell that doesn't normally have components is automatically a base Defiling spell, and any metamagic that removes component requirements MUST use Defiling. I would probably also make it that "preserved" spells cannot be upcast - at least, not without greater component requirements.
I agree. Makibg arcane casters corruptive by default is very Dark Sun. You want to cast like in base 5e? Either pony up the extra effort or accept the harm you're doing to the world.
 

A sorcerer is possible in DS if the list of arcane spells are replaced with primal or divine magic.

I guess WotC will want some exclusive pack of Dark-Sun for their VTT D&D-One.

Are spinewyrms true dragons with age categories? I loved that idea.

DS will be rebooted to can add new elements, not only classes, but PC lineages.
 

see

Pedantic Grognard
I agree. Makibg arcane casters corruptive by default is very Dark Sun. You want to cast like in base 5e? Either pony up the extra effort or accept the harm you're doing to the world.
I see the argument for that, but "presever wizards work exactly the way wizards in the PHB work" was the provided mechanics in every published version of the Dark Sun campaign setting.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I see the argument for that, but "presever wizards work exactly the way wizards in the PHB work" was the provided mechanics in every published version of the Dark Sun campaign setting.
Sure. I just think the other way around captures the setting better.
 

grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
Sure. I just think the other way around captures the setting better.
It works better narratively, but preservers will wind up weaker than their level would indicate in play. Just need to prepare the players for it in Session 0.
I have thought about doing a quick and dirty 5E ersatz Dark Sun campaign using only material I currently have on hand.
Muls use Orcs or 1/2 orcs depending on PHB or MotM
Half-Giant uses goliath. Dray uses Dragonborn.
Templar use cleric of order, paladin of conquest, or warlock whichever you prefer. Warlock lets you customize a pact more to each Sorcerer King if you wanted.
Defiling is advantage to hit or disadvantage on saves. Free upcasting has some really wonky results. Default is you defile unless you state you are casting to preserve (thus losing adv or disadv)
Psion is a sorcerer with a custom psionic spell list. I need to generate this spell list. I like KibblesTasty psion but it is far from perfect for DS.
Psychic Warrior is an eldritch knight with access to the psionic spell list.
Wild Talents use the aberrant dragonmark feats from Eberron.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Or...
Paranormal Power(8).png


Though, granted, it doesn't have a true "Psychic Warrior" Class...

It -does- have Psychic Warrior as an Esper subclass -and- a Psionic Knight fighter subclass with psychic maneuvers.

Heck. Even has Wild Talents for all the A5e heritages that you could just rename "Feats" for 5e.
 


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